The New American, A Bi-Weekly Magazine
That Freedom Shall Not Perish
Vol. 19, No. 23., November 17, 2003
In 1932, New York Times correspondent Walter Duranty, a shill for the Soviet
Union, won the Pulitzer Prize for his reporting of the Ukrainian terror
famine. Duranty's role in covering up that atrocity - the systematic
starvation by the Soviets of as many as 10 million people - was to retail
the lies fed to him by Josef Stalin's regime. The Soviet lies regurgitated
by Duranty, and retailed by the Times to the public, helped grease the skids
for U.S. diplomatic recognition of the Soviet Union in 1933 - which in turn
opened the spigots for aid and trade to the Communist behemoth.
In our September 8 issue, THE NEW AMERICAN reported that 70 years
after the Pulitzer Committee became a party to this crime against humanity,
"the push is on to have Duranty's Pulitzer Prize revoked due to the slanted
and partisan nature of his reporting and his role in covering up the
man-made famine." Earlier this year, the Ukrainian Congress Committee of
America announced a campaign to have Duranty's Pulitzer revoked, noting
that the Timesman not only covered up the truth but also "called other
journalists outright liars for reporting about Ukraine's Famine Genocide."
Since then, the Pulitzer Board has been buried beneath postcards and deluged
with e-mails from around the globe urging that it withdraw the prize.
In July, the Pulitzer Prize Board asked the Times to examine Duranty's
coverage of the Ukrainian terror famine. The paper, reeling from more recent
scandals that undermined whatever credibility it once had, hired Columbia
University history professor Mark von Hagen to make an independent
assessment of Duranty's work. Von Hagen concluded that "the Pulitzer Prize
[Duranty] received should be rescinded because of his 'lack of balance' in
covering Stalin's government," reported the October 23 New York Times.
(Click on image to enlarge it)
Von Hagen "described the coverage for which Mr. Duranty won the Pulitzer .
as a 'dull and largely uncritical recitation of Soviet sources,'" continued
the Times. "That lack of balance and uncritical acceptance of Soviet
self-justification for its cruel and wasteful regime was a disservice to the
American readers of The New York Times and the liberal values they subscribe
to and to the historical experience of the peoples of the Russian and Soviet
empires and their struggle for a better life," wrote the professor in an
While von Hagen did not say in his report that Duranty's Pulitzer should be
revoked, in an interview with the Times he said that the Pulitzer Board
"should take it away for the greater honor and glory of The New York Times.
He really was kind of a disgrace in the history of The New York Times." That
Duranty was a collaborator in the rise of the most murderous dictator in
history, making him an accessory in the deaths of millions of human beings,
apparently had little to do with von Hagen's recommendations.
The publisher of the Times, Arthur Sulzberger Jr., told the Pulitzer Board
that it would respect a decision to take back the award, but suggested -
incredibly - that such an overdue correction of the historical record would
evoke the "Stalinist practice to airbrush purged figures out of official
records and histories."
This is a bit like the proverb of the criminal who murders his parents and
then pleads for leniency because he's an orphan. Nobody is suggesting that
Duranty be cast down the memory hole, or that the actions of the Times and
the Pulitzer Board be forgotten. Quite the contrary: Decent people want the
full truth to be told, recognized and remembered - to the everlasting shame
of all concerned, including the New York Times.
The New American, Appleton, WI, November 17, 2003
FOR PERSONAL AND ACADEMIC USE ONLY